In the framework of the 31st session of the Human Rights Council and from the highest interest and greatest attention dedicated to its activities, the Geneva centre keenly followed the main events that took place during the first week of the current HRC session. To get more details about the subject please click on this link : The 31th session of the Human Rights Council and High Level Segment
“Political stability must be achieved to overcome the ‘refugee crisis’” – stated H. E. Dr. Hanif Al Qassim
In early January, during an interview with Gulf News in Dubai, H. E. Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim, Chairman of the Geneva Centre’s Board of Management, stated that political stability must be achieved to overcome the ‘refugee crisis’, as the primary cause of recent refugee flows is States’ vulnerability.
On 8th December 2015, the White Ribbon Campaign Switzerland (Ruban Blanc – Campagne Suisse) on raising awareness on violence against women held its Annual Conference on the theme “Creating an idea whose time has come – the elimination of violence against women and girls” (“Créer une idée dont le temps est venu – l’élimination de la violence à l’égard des femmes”). The Geneva Centre, represented by Mr. Ricardo Espinosa, Executive Director a.i. and Swiss White Ribbon Ambassador, was invited to join the conference and contribute to the discussion.
To mark the International Tolerance Day, Mr. Ricardo Espinosa, Executive Director a. i. of the Geneva Centre, participated in a conference organized by Youth for Human Rights International on 14th November 2015, entitled If Tolerance meant Respect and Sharing… (“Si Tolérance signifiait Respect et Partage…”).
On 6th October, the 22nd Martin Ennals Award ceremony took place at the University of Geneva, in the framework of the Human Rights Week.
The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders was created in 1993, in order to encourage human rights defenders who are at risk and therefore in need of immediate protection. The goal was and is, still today, to provide special protection to human rights defenders by drawing international media attention on their plight.
The Geneva Centre is seeking to employ an experienced and dynamic professional for the Executive Director position, reporting directly to the Board of Management. The Executive Director (ED), who is appointed for a three-year term, is responsible for achieving the Centre’ mission and strategic plan.
Geneva Centre welcomes students from Boston University in view of promoting dialogue among civilizations
On June 15th, the Geneva Centre received 13 International Relations students from Boston University, in the framework of a Geneva-based summer school in Conflicts Resolution. The meeting aimed to brief the students about opportunities and challenges for dialogue among civilizations, as well as to present the work of the Geneva Centre in this area.
After the shameful public demonstrations conducted by the PEGIDA (“Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West”) movement, Germany has witnessed the umpteenth episode of racism and discrimination against migrants. Again, the main target is the Muslim community.
As details start to emerge of a fresh set of attacks perpetrated by terrorist group Boko Haram, the situation in Nigeria seems to be deteriorating. Hundreds of people have been found murdered in North-Eastern Nigeria on Monday. The violence seems to have spread beyond Nigeria’s borders; Chad, Niger and Cameroon have all been under attack from Boko Haram, where heinous attacks have been committed injuring and killing hundreds.
The Geneva Centre calls for strengthening of International Cooperation to solve migration challenges
In view of the instabilities that plague Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, it is feared that on Sunday 19th April, at least 700 migrants have died while attempting to cross the Mediterranean. According to UNHCR, in 2015 alone, 1600 migrants have died attempting fate in search for greener pastures. The majority of migrants head for the Italian coast, escaping the horrors of the war in Libya.
The Geneva Centre emphasizes the need to draw interpretations from the important declaration made by the UN High Commissioner in his opening remarks at the 28th session of Human Rights Council
It has been several months since the Human Rights Council convened to convey strength in the bond forged with the drawing of the Charter of the United Nations 70 years ago.
In the context of the commemoration of the World Day of Social Justice on 20th February 2015, as declared by General Assembly Resolution A/RES/62/10 on 26th November 2007, the Geneva Centre acknowledges that “(…) social development and social justice are indispensable for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security within and among nations (…)”.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris last month, where 17 people were brutally murdered, Muslim communities have rallied up to prove that the nefarious acts of the individuals behind the Paris attacks do not represent Islam. On Sunday, 1st February, The Muslim Council of Britain united in an effort to appease ill thought by organizing the initiative “Visit my mosque day”.
Earlier this week, the Geneva Centre met with H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremić, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, former President of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, as well as current President of the Centre for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD).
Since October 2014, the newly-created Pegida (“Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West”) has been organizing weekly public demonstrations against the presumed Islamization of Europe, the most recent one gathering 18.000 rioters last Monday. The movement, founded in Dresden by activist Lutz Bachmann, claims not to be racist or xenophobic, and to oppose extremism; yet, it incites to prejudices, intolerance, and Islamophobia in fact, and its slogan “for the preservation of our culture” recalls nothing other than the legacy of a remote, dangerous past appealing for the “preservation of the Aryan race”.
On 16th December, militants from the Pakistani Taliban attacked an army-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing 141 people, 132 children amongst them. This brutal attack is not an isolated case, and represents the peak of a long series of terrorist attacks whose ferocity cannot be neglected. It occurred one day after the strike taken place in Sydney Lindt Cafè, Australia, and less than two weeks after “Al Reem Ghost” attack, which took place in Al Reem Mall in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Born in 1961, it pursues a vision of the world in which “every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life”, and reaches, on average, more than 80 million people with food assistance in 75 countries each year.
“Every Day is Human Rights Day”: the Geneva Centre joins the international community in the celebration of the Human Rights Day
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” – Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Art. 1.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon meets with world leaders: towards a more transparent and inclusive global governance
On the margins of the G20 Summit in Brisbane, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has met with senior European officials and Turkey’s Prime Minister in order to discuss pressing issues, such as the ongoing Ukraine crisis, the Ebola outbreak, the threat represented by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and climate change. The Geneva Centre very much welcomes UN Secretary-General’s efforts to engage in dialogue with the Group of 20 in view of a more transparent and efficient global economic governance.
The Geneva Centre is pleased to report on the international Conference on “Challenges to Security and Human Rights in the Arab Region”, which was held in Doha (Qatar) on 5th and 6th November 2014. The event was co-organized by the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar, the Council of Arab Interior Ministers, the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights and the Arab Network of National Human Rights Institutions.